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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó wraps up an international tour with a rally in Miami on Super Bowl weekend with the looming question whether the opposition leader can score an important meeting with President Donald Trump. Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, discussed with The Associated Press what the lack of a Trump-Guaidó session could signal to Venezuelans and the Venezuelan opposition, Guaidó popularity, and Trump’s take on Venezuela.
Comments by Michael Shifter:
“If Trump does not meet with Guaidó, that would raise serious questions about the administration’s continuing commitment to Venezuela’s interim president. It might well be interpreted that Trump is hedging on Guaidó.”
“The lack of a Trump-Guaidó session would demoralize the Venezuelan opposition that has counted on Washington for unwavering support. It would also be puzzling to US allies like Colombia and Brazil, which have worked in concert with the United States in fully backing Guaidó.”
“Guaidó has not delivered the change in Venezuela that the Trump administration and the country’s opposition expected, but he is still Venezuela’s most popular political figure.”
“Trump may be frustrated and believe he was misled on Venezuela. But there is little cost in meeting with Guaidó as the democratic struggle enters a new, very difficult, phase.”